A Jack Baxter thunderbolt denied Blackpool’s under-18s all three points in the local derby against Preston North end this afternoon.
The Seasiders’ took the lead in the first-half courtesy of Emil Jaaskelainen, who tapped in at the back post following great play from Sean Graham.
However, Baxter took a quick free-kick, got the ball back and struck a fierce shot from long range which beat Harvey Simson and flew into the top corner to equalise.
Blackpool started the game brightly, winning a free-kick on the edge of Preston’s box just two minutes in. Nathan Shaw took the set-piece, but a foul given against the Seasiders allowed Preston to settle down.
The visitors continued to push forward in the early stages of the game. Shaw this time received the ball on the edge of the area and whipped a teasing ball in towards Owen Watkinson, he couldn’t get on the end of it and the ball rolled out for a goal-kick.
Involved in almost everything early on, Shaw put a corner in again towards Watkinson who was left to have a free header at goal, but Preston cleared.
From their first attack, Preston then had the ball in the back of the net through Eyad Hammoud, only for him to see it ruled out for offside.
With the game going a bit quiet, the next bit of good play came from Shaw. He came up with some great skill to beat the defender and cross towards Will Avon, but Avon’s header went just over the bar.
This time on the other wing, Sean Graham beat his man and crossed into the area where Avon was waiting again, but he headed over once more.
Jerome Jolly came forward for Preston delivering a testing ball into the area which found Louis Potts in the area, but he shot wide for the hosts.
Then Blackpool scored the first goal of the game. A great diagonal ball from Avon was well taken down by Graham and he beat his man to flash a ball across the six-yard box and find Emil Jaaskelainen for a tap in.
Half-Time: Preston North End 0 Blackpool 1
It was an even start to the second-half, with no team having much joy in the final third.
Blackpool came forward with their first real attack of the half. A cross came in from Will McGladdery towards Watkinson, who tried an audacious overhead kick that went over the crossbar.
Matthew Liptrott then picked the ball up in the middle of the park and played a pass out wide to Shaw, he beat his man and whipped a teasing ball into the area, only for it to evade everyone and go out for a goal-kick.
McGladdery got down the left wing well and crossed towards Watkinson who headed over from the penalty spot.
Preston started pushing more for an equaliser. Adam O’Reilly found space in the area and shot towards goal, but that was blocked, and the ball ran through to Harvey Simson who gathered with ease.
Then after what looked to have been a foul on Avon wasn’t given by the referee and Preston broke, Lewis Coulton was allowed time and space to get his shot away, but he fired inches wide.
Trying to make the game secure from a Blackpool perspective, great wing play allowed Watkinson to play a pass back to Tony Weston who was waiting in the area, he found space and shot towards the near post, but Jimmy Corcoran got down well and denied him.
Then came the Preston equaliser. Jack Baxter played a quick one-two from a free-kick and unleashed a 35-yard strike towards goal, the ball beat Simson and flew into the top corner.
Full-Time: Preston North End 1 Blackpool 1
Blackpool: Simson, Williams, Winstanley, Goudou(McGladdery), Avon, Liptrott, Shaw, Smith(Weston), Jaaskelainen, Watkinson, Graham.